Save a Day
Friday, June 26, 2015
Energizing our lives with daily, weekly and annual vacations is essential to our health and happiness. We have an innate, God-given need for a change of pace and a time to “come apart.”
This rhythm of life originated with God when He created this Earth. In the beginning, He created the world in six days, and then rested on the seventh-day. He called it the Sabbath. And it wasn’t because His physical needs demanded it.
He took time to rest simply because He wanted to enjoy the life He had just created. This seven-day rhythm suggests we should honor weekly rhythms if we want to take care of our health.
During World War II, Great Britain instituted a 74-hour work week, but soon found that people could not maintain the pace. After experimenting, they found that a 48-hour work week, with regular breaks, plus one day of rest each week, resulted in maximum efficiency.56 During the French revolution, France experimented with a ten-day week; chaos resulted.56
Our world operates on a seven-day rhythm. We find this cycle in plants, animals and humans. Medical research has demonstrated seven-day rhythms in connection with a variety of physiological functions.
These include: heart rate, natural hormones in human breast milk and urine, swelling after surgery, rejection of transplanted organs, human and animal cancers and their response to treatment, inflammatory responses and the drugs we use to treat them.
For instance, a patient will tend to have an increase in swelling on the seventh and the fourteenth day after surgery. Similarly, a patient who has had a kidney transplant is more likely to reject the organ seven days and fourteen days after surgery.57-63
German scientists call the thing that sets a biorhythm – “zeitgeber” or “time-giver.” The zeitgeber that initiates and maintains the seven-day rhythm is not yet understood, but some chronobiologists think that a regular day of rest might pace it. It is possible that we have a physiologic need to take a specific day off each week.
Taking off one whole day in seven brings renewal to the physical and spiritual life. Unlike days, months and years, this biorhythm has no astronomical marker. There is no plausible explanation for its presence, except that it was built into our physiology by our Creator.
The day can be used for many restorative things: to connect with others; it can be great for re-creation, reflection, and meditation; and it can be a special time to focus on nurturing one’s spiritual values. How interesting (though not surprising) that science is discovering the health benefits related to keeping God’s fourth commandment!